San Francisco Jury Finds Monsanto Guilty in Landmark Verdict
Many people throughout the nation have been watching the drama of the lawsuit filed by an individual against the massive corporation Monsanto. Now a part of the German pharmaceutical company Bayer, Monsanto was accused by Edwin Hardeman, a resident of Santa Rosa, CA, of adding chemicals into their herbicides that resulted in his developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The reason this case has been so closely watched is that it is both the first of its kind, as well as likely to set the standards to which the more than 9,000 similar lawsuits now filed across the United States will adhere. In a massive victory for the people over a corporate entity, a federal jury in San Francisco found that Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup had contributed significantly to Hardeman’s contraction of cancer.
This decision by the jury marks the end of the trial’s first significant phase. Now, the jury will gather together to discuss just what sort of liability Monsanto holds and what it should repay the plaintiff in damages.
Even though another case last August resulted in a California jury ruling that the groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson had been wronged by the Monsanto company when they failed to inform him fully of the potential health hazards associated with Roundup, the case involving Hardeman is still a bellwether lawsuit and is the first to reach federal court with the accusation that Roundup exposure could cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
A major difference between the two cases is that while the August verdict was decided after the jury was able to hear about the ways in which the Monsanto corporation systematically bullied scientists into producing test results favorable to their products, the case involving the Santa Rosa man was not allowed to include any of the information regarding Monsanto’s influence and aggression towards researchers and regulators. In fact, the judge in charge of the trial, Vince Chhabria, sanctioned the lawyer for Hardeman for continually referencing the ways in which Monsanto pushed for their products to escape the sort of regulatory and safety measures that would have prevented numerous such cancer cases similar to the one experienced by Hardeman.
As more information on this trial and its significance for other such cases becomes available it will be published here as well as on other, more nationally recognized channels.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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